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Sunderland board OKs farm stand,  2 greenhouses

SUNDERLAND — North Main Street will soon see two 6,000-square-foot greenhouses and a 500-square-foot farmstand.

The Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously granted a special permit Wednesday to a University of Massachusetts-Amherst plant and soil sciences student to build two greenhouses to grow and sell basil, garlic, parsley, vegetables and flowers year-round at 200 North Main St.

Ganisher Abbasov, a doctoral candidate at the Amherst campus, with a doctorate in hydroponic agriculture from the University of Moscow, is known in Franklin County for developing a greenhouse growing system used by America Agro Products in Greenfield.

The land is currently owned by Alec Cybulski and Doris Lucas. Abbasov will purchase the property, which includes a house, now that he has a permit. Abbasov plans to open for the spring and live in the house.

With the permit, Abbasov must comply with several stipulations set by the board. To not disturb neighbors, greenhouse lights are only allowed within the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. There should be no direct lighting onto neighboring properties. There will also be a height limit to the greenhouses based on what Abbasov has proposed. He did not have the exact height at the meeting before press time. He said it should be no larger than 10 feet.

Part of the Abbasov’s growing system is providing a quality basil with a shortened growing cycle. The low-maintenance process uses a colloid as a concentrated nutrient solution, allowing the plant to grow more quickly and enhancing the nutrient intensity. At UMass, Abbasov works to refine the efficiency of his process.

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